- Visa has bought Plaid for a total of $5.3 billion. The deal will close in the next 6 months.
- The acquisition aims to increase the growth of the fintech sector and open Visa to new markets.
Visa has announced the purchase of the Plaid financial services platform. The purchase by the payment giant is endowed with 5.3 billion dollars, which is twice the latest valuation of the start-up. The purchase is expected to be completed within the next 6 months, subject to regulatory approval. The merger of the two companies could fundamentally change the landscape for other cross-border payment platforms such as Ripple (XRP) and Stellar Lumens (XLM).
According to the press release, Plaid is a data network that develops tools that enable consumers to exchange financial information with applications and services such as Transferwise, Venmo, Abra Wallet and the crypto exchange Coinbase. Plaid’s products also enable users to monitor their spending and savings. The company is based in San Francisco, California and was founded in 2013 by Zach Perret and William Hockey.
Visa and Plaid seek to become the epicentre of fintech
As a background to the acquisition, Visa has stressed the need to expand its core business. The payment company also wants to expand into new markets. The merger with Plaid has the potential to increase the payment capacity of Visa customers. In addition, the acquisition comes at a time when connectivity between financial institutions and users is becoming increasingly important. Plaid is one of the leading companies in this sector and its services extend to 11,000 financial institutions and more than 2,600 Fintech developers in the United States alone.
Visa CEO Al Kelly had this to say about the acquisition:
Plaid is a leader in the fast growing fintech world with best-in-class capabilities and talent. The acquisition, combined with our many fintech efforts already underway, will position Visa to deliver even more value for developers, financial institutions and consumers
Zach Perret, CEO and co-founder of Plaid, also made a statement on the acquisition:
Visa is trusted by billions of consumers, businesses and financial institutions as a key part of the financial ecosystem, and together Visa and Plaid can support the rapid growth of digital financial services
Competition between Visa, Ripple and Stellar Lumens
Cross-border rapid payment services are in high demand. The merger of Visa and Plaid could change the landscape for Ripple and Stellar Lumens. Ripple has more than 300 partners around the world including major financial institutions and expects strong growth for its product On Demand Liquidity in 2020.
On the other hand, Stellar Lumens also has an important share in the fast payments sector and is another competitor that will have its eye on Visa’s movements. It was recently revealed that the Thai start-up Lightnet wants to replace SWIFT as an international payment system. Lightnet raised $31.2 million in venture capital to build a software solution based on Stellar Lumens’ blockchain.